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Salomon Agile Full-Zip Hoodie Review

This running-focused shell isn’t the most wind resistant, but features an appealing balance of breathability and water resistance
Salomon Agile Full-Zip Hoodie
Photo: Salomon
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Price:  $100 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Breathable, surprising water repellency, stylish and comfortable
Cons:  Wind cuts through elastane mesh, no storage pocket, specific fit
Manufacturer:   Salomon
By Aaron Rice ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 6, 2021
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 13
  • Wind Resistance - 30% 6
  • Breathability and Venting - 30% 9
  • Weight and Packability - 20% 5
  • Fit and Functionality - 10% 6
  • Water Resistance - 10% 8

Our Verdict

Salomon has been working hard over the past few years on their apparel, and the Agile Wind Hoodie is a slightly burlier version of their more running-specific jackets. This lightweight shell is reinforced with polyester across the shoulders, arms, and hood for improved weather resistance — in fact, it seriously impressed us with its ability to shed water in light rainstorms. The rest of the jacket is a mesh-like polyester/elastane blend, which provides excellent freedom of movement and superior breathability. The hood includes an elastic band for a secure fit over a hat and features a duck brim to keep water out of your eyes if you don’t, but unfortunately is not helmet-compatible. A sleek, athletic jacket that is more breathable than wind resistant, this is a perfect piece for urban runners and cyclists.

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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
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Check Price at REI
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Check Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
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$40 List
$13.19 at Backcountry
Overall Score Sort Icon
69
79
74
66
53
Star Rating
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Pros Breathable, surprising water repellency, stylish and comfortableLow price, simple and effective design, tiny packed-size, impressive DWR coatingLots of zippered pockets, ease of packing, elastic brimAffordable, mesh-backed ventilation, large zippered hand pocketsAffordable, large hand pockets and hood
Cons Wind cuts through elastane mesh, no storage pocket, specific fitNo feature to stow-away hood, thin material can feel clammy during high-output activityGoofy looking brimmed hood, swampy, lack of DWR treatmentRelatively heavy, lack of water resistance, oversized stuff sackBillows in anything more than a breeze, lack of features
Bottom Line This running-focused shell isn’t the most wind resistant, but features an appealing balance of breathability and water resistanceThe best overall value and performance in a lightweight package that sets the category standardBest-in-class storage in a lightweight, ripstop-nylon shell, all at an affordable priceA price-point option that balances wind resistance and breathability, but lacks in terms of weather proofingHolding it down for the classic windbreaker, in style and function
Rating Categories Salomon Agile Full-... Patagonia Houdini Rab Vital Windshell The North Face Flyw... Columbia Flashback
Wind Resistance (30%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
Breathability And Venting (30%)
9.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
6.0
Weight And Packability (20%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
5.0
Fit And Functionality (10%)
6.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
Water Resistance (10%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
3.0
5.0
Specs Salomon Agile Full-... Patagonia Houdini Rab Vital Windshell The North Face Flyw... Columbia Flashback
Measured Weight (size M) 5.6 oz 3.9 oz (size L) 4.7 oz 7.6 oz 5.7 oz
Material 100% polyester upper, 88% polyester / 12% elastane lower 100% nylon ripstop, DWR finish Hyperlite nylon WindWall: 100% Recycled Polyester woven with DWR finish Water-repellent polyester
Pockets 2 zippered hand 1 zip (chest) 3 zip (2 external hand, 1 internal) 2 hand 2 hand
Safety Reflective Material? Yes, reflective inserts No (company states reflective logo on left chest, too small to really be visible) Yes, reflective logo on chest and back No No
Stowable Pocket? No Yes: chest pocket Yes: internal pocket Yes: hand pocket No
Cuff Style Half Elastic Half Elastic Half Elastic Elastic Elastic
Hood Fits Over Helmet? No Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Salomon Agile is a breathable, comfortable athletic jacket that offers an intriguing balance of breathability and weather resistance. Although you wouldn’t exactly expect it from a 100% polyester upper, the panels that cover the hood, shoulders, and top of the arms have an unusual ability to shed water. The rest of the jacket incorporates 12% elastane into the mix for superior ventilation and a natural stretch.

Performance Comparison


From the trail to the roads, and even into the alpine, the Salomon...
From the trail to the roads, and even into the alpine, the Salomon Agile is a versatile windbreaker despite its running-focused design.
Photo: Jill Rice

Wind Resistance


The Salomon Agile, like the award-winning Flyweight Hoodie stand apart from the crowd as two jackets that opt for a polyester shell, rather than the more traditional nylon. Polyester is a fabric common to base layers, as it tends to be more breathable than nylon. Unfortunately, this advantage on one hand negatively affects its wind resistance on the other. Not only that, but the bottom half of the Agile is partly elastane, which is about as wind resistant as spandex. So while this jacket works fine for running trails in more covered areas, expect a chilly greeting as you climb onto exposed ridgelines.

Though its not designed to pull over helmets, the heavy-duty elastic...
Though its not designed to pull over helmets, the heavy-duty elastic band underneath the duckbill keeps this toggle-free hood securely locked onto your head no matter the weather.
Photo: Jill Rice

Breathability and Venting


While wind resistance suffers a bit as a result, breathability is capitalized as a performance feature of this lightweight shell. The polyester/elastane panel makes up the majority of the back of this jacket, which has the added benefit of efficiently transferring moisture away from your base layer to keep you fresh and cool when you’re working hard uphill. This superior ability to thermoregulate means that the Agile particularly excels anytime there are major temperature swings — like everyday in the desert Southwest, or during the shoulder seasons. If the heat is getting to you in the middle of a run, you also have the option of opening up the two hand pockets, which are also mesh-backed for improved airflow.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Weight and Packability


Tipping the scales at 5.6 ounces, the Agile is surprisingly in the upper tier in terms of weight when compared directly to the rest of the jackets in this review. But any jacket that weighs only about 1/3 of a pound is incredibly light, and indeed that’s how it feels when worn — lightweight and airy, thanks to the breathable panels that extend from your back, through your underarms, and around to your core. While this jacket does have the ability to fold up into one of its hand pockets to form a rather petite package, neither is specifically designed as a stowable pocket, so be careful not to lose a zipper if you pack this jacket up.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Fit and Functionality


This athletic shell has a particularly slim fit that appeals to the running crowd, pavement pounders and trail runners alike. Even our head tester found this jacket to be a bit slimming, who at 5 feet, 10 inches, has a skinny mountaineer’s frame that generally fits well in most athletic wear. The Agile certainly lives up to its name — the polyester/elastane panels are supple and stretchy, allowing for complete freedom of movement. While this may seem like a good choice for rock climbers as a result, we worry about the ability of this jacket to stand up to abrasion. As the only ones available, the low position of the hand pockets also eliminate any possible carrying capacity once hidden underneath a harness.

Like many running-specific designs, the Agile is tailored to a slim...
Like many running-specific designs, the Agile is tailored to a slim fit for improved mobility.
Photo: Jill Rice

Similarly, the hood is designed to be pulled tightly over your head or a lightweight hat, and isn’t helmet compatible. But for its designated purpose, it does a fantastic job of keeping your hat securely on your head, even through heavy springtime gales. To continue to point the Agile in the direction of a running-specific jacket, this shell very much has the style of an urban athletic piece, which is further supported by particular design features. Notably for commuters and those who like to run in the evenings or early mornings, the right arm is branded with a highly reflective insert.

A highly reflective insert in the arm of the Salomon Agile improves...
A highly reflective insert in the arm of the Salomon Agile improves visibility when running in the evening or early morning, but it is a bit strange to not include this feature on both arms.
Photo: Jill Rice

Water Resistance


Based on our experience with other polyester windbreakers, we didn’t expect much in terms of water repellency — yet, the Agile blew away all of our expectations. Don’t think that you can take this jacket out comfortably with heavy rain in the forecast, but it is more than adequate in a light drizzle. Even in our standardized shower test — which is designed to replicate a quick, heavy downpour — our shoulders stayed remarkably dry under this exceptionally thin jacket. Almost more so than the water resistance of the upper body, we were impressed by the hydrophobia of the polyester/elastane back panel. If you are running without a hat, the hood also features a duckbill to help keep rain out of your eyes.

Though far from a rain jacket, the polyester shoulder panels do a...
Though far from a rain jacket, the polyester shoulder panels do a surprisingly good job of shedding water. This is all that remained after a run in a light drizzle.
Photo: Jill Rice

Value


Given its affinity for breathability, and its astounding water resistance, the Agile stands out as an interesting option for a windbreaker — most lightweight jackets are generally one of the two, but infrequently both. Given its middle-of-the-road price point in this category, this would make a great companion for those runners or cyclists looking to strike out without worry in those areas that tend to see short, passing showers in the spring and summer.

For its weight, fit, and breathability, the Salomon Agile is a...
For its weight, fit, and breathability, the Salomon Agile is a reasonable buy for a lightweight and packable cycling or mountain biking shell.
Photo: Jill Rice

Conclusion


While perhaps a bit more versatile than we give it credit for, the Salomon Agile Wind Hoodie is certainly geared towards runners. The combination of polyester and elastane make this jacket exceptionally breathable, yet it has the uncanny ability to shed light rains better than most. If you care more about weather than wind-resistance, then this is a versatile piece of activewear.

Aaron Rice

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